Can You Ride Your Bicycle on the Sidewalk?




Some may believe that riding their bicycle on sidewalks is safer, since they don’t need to contend with cars on the road, yet riding on them may endanger pedestrians and increase your risk of an accident.

Certain states and cities prohibit bicyclists from riding on sidewalks unless they’re walking or are under 13 years old; others allow it in certain designated areas.


Bicycles and sidewalks can present a complex set of issues when combined, as there are various rules and regulations to abide by when riding on them. Therefore, it’s crucial that riders understand these regulations prior to setting out on their journey!

Generally, riding your bicycle on sidewalks is legal; however, some exceptions do exist and it is wise to consult your local law enforcement to ascertain if riding is safe in your area.

If this is the case for you, be sure to follow pedestrian-specific guidelines when crossing a sidewalk. Also keep an eye out for cars backing out or turning into driveways when walking on sidewalks – make sure that at intersections, you stop first to observe before proceeding further with crossings.

Sidewalks may provide an ideal setting to ride a bicycle, but they should always be treated as potentially hazardous terrain. From uneven pavement to cracks in the surface, sidewalks require caution when riding bikes on them and should always be navigated slowly for optimal results.

Safety Tips

Riding your bicycle on the sidewalk may be legal in most cities and states, but it can be hazardous. Not only are sidewalks often uneven but there may also be obstructions preventing your ride.

Potholes, road depressions and metal utility covers may make riding your bicycle on the pavement challenging or impossible, which is why it is crucial to ride slowly and carefully when on sidewalks. It is wise to stay alert of your surroundings.

Even with its risks, riding your bike on the sidewalk can sometimes be necessary in busy neighborhoods with many pedestrians present.


Many cyclists mistakenly think sidewalks are the safest place for riding their bicycle, but that isn’t always the case. Sidewalks are narrow and difficult to navigate around obstacles like mailboxes, trash cans, signs, light posts, trees, fences and bushes; thus making cycling hazardous on them.

Therefore, it’s essential that pedestrians and cars navigating sidewalks safely are aware of how they should maneuver.

1. Bicyclists must yield to pedestrians when passing.

2. Pass Politely – To pass safely and courteously, give an audible warning and ride slowly when passing another vehicle.

3. Be mindful of children and dogs – If you encounter either on the sidewalk, give them space by moving slowly around them.

4. Avoid Conflict With Pedestrians – Spotting pedestrians on the sidewalk can sometimes be tricky, and they may walk around or ignore you completely.

As a general guideline, it is wise to avoid biking on sidewalks altogether. However, if necessary for reaching your destination quickly or safely, extreme caution must be used.


Biking on the sidewalk may seem safer than cycling on roads, but if you aren’t cautious it can also be deadly. More pedestrians tend to cross your path when biking along sidewalks due to their greater speeds and unpredictable movements; you are therefore more likely to hit someone there than on streets.

Be particularly cautious when riding on sidewalks near parked cars and driveways as drivers don’t always look out for bicycles in these situations.

By riding in front of cars that may not be visible from the sidewalk, it can be dangerous if someone opens their door without you seeing.

Assuming you’re not on a designated bike path, riding your bicycle on sidewalks in most cities is generally prohibited. Before making this decision, consult your local ordinances for information and only ride when sure it is safe to do so – giving pedestrians plenty of room and giving an audible signal when passing them is also required when passing them on this pathway.